For the last few years, the Global Citizen organization—which raises money and awareness to try and help people in poverty around the world—has moved away from big live festivals in favor of online livestreams that anyone can watch, bringing its message of promoting global unity through the use of major celebrity performances and speeches to a much bigger audience. Global Citizen also has a knack for assembling a surprisingly wide range of musical acts, appealing not just to cool young people but also uncool old people (as well as hypothetical uncool young people and cool old people).
This year’s Global Citizen Live event will be happening for 24 hours, starting on September 25, and airing on ABC, BBC, FX, iHeartRadio, Hulu, YouTube, and Twitter. According to Rolling Stone, the performers will include BTS, Billie Eilish, Demi Lovato, Doja Cat, Ed Sheeran, Duran Duran, Coldplay, Green Day, Metallica, Lorde, Lizzo, Shawn Mendes, The Lumineers, The Weeknd, Usher, Tiwa Savage, Adam Lambert, Alessia Cara, Andra Bocelli, HER, Keith Urban, Ricky Martin, and Hugh Jackman & Deborra-Lee Furness (who are apparently a musical act now).
Rolling Stone this year’s show will also have a particular focus on how COVID-19 has impacted people around the world, with Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans saying the pandemic has forced “upwards of 160 million people back into extreme poverty” and that “there are now more than 40 million people on the brink of famine.” Evans also points out the lack of progress on climate change and the fact that “the majority of the Fortune 500" have been unable “to set science-based carbon reduction targets.” So this is all kind of sad and bleak, but hey, where else can you see Duran Duran and Billie Eilish? Or BTS and Metallica? Or Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness? (They’re married. The joke is that they’re married and you could see them in a lot of places.)